Autobiographical Memory

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`Memory` is a label for a diverse set of cognitive capacities by which humans and perhaps other animals retain information and reconstruct past experiences, usually for present purposes. Autobiographical memory is a complex and multiply determined skill, consisting of neurological, social, cognitive, and linguistic components. At most beasic level, autobiographical memories refer to personally experienced past events. Over the past decade the research into autobiographical memory has led to an account of human memory in which personal goals play a major role in the formationk, access and construction of specific memories Episodic memory is reconceived as a memory system that retains highly detailed sensory perceptual knowledge of recent experience over retention intervals measured in minutes and hours. Episodic knowledge has yet to be integrated with the autobiographical memory knowledge base and so takes as its referent the immediate past of the experiencing self or the `I`. When recalled it can be accessed independently of content and is recollectively experienced. Autobiographical memory, in contrast, retains knowledge over retention intervals measured in weeks, months, years, decades and across the life span. Autobiographical knowledge represents the experienced self, or the `me`, is always accessed by its content and, when accessed, does not necessarily give rise to recollective experience. Instead, recollective experience occurs when autobiographical knowledge retains access to associated episodic memories.

Autobiographical memory in simplest terms can be described as memory for events and issues related to yourself and includes memories for specific experiences and for the personal facts of one`s life. Neisser , a psychologist who specialised in memory, defined autobiographical memory in the following way:½If the remebered event seems to have played a significant part in the life of the rememberer, it becomes an example of autobiographical...
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